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801 out of 1164 people found the following review useful:

Plot holes galore

Author: mikkepost from Oslo, Norway
22 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The only reason I am writing a review right now, is because of how stunned I am at most of the user reviews. While its good that you enjoyed the movie, I am surprised at how most people here are overlooking some of the pretty terrible choices. I will be going through what I thought worked, and what kept me from enjoying the movie. Needless to say; MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD.

The good: I like the plot, for the most part. Although I find the idea of a train being humanity last home extremely weird, it makes for a nice backdrop. The tone of the movie reminds me a lot of The Hunger Games. Chris Evans does pretty good. The wagons themselves have amazing character. The Art Director should be praised the most out of the entire film crew.

The bad: Well, let me sum it up in questions. Questions keeping me from loving this: 1. Why divide the train into classes? This makes no sense. The train ecosystem would function fine with some rules regarding population control.

2. Their great plan is to have a regular uprising to kill off people and keeping the population down? WHAT? See my first point.

3. They used to eat people and babies, but are now disgusted by eating protein bars made by cockroaches? How does that work? And furthermore:

4: WHERE did all those bloody cockroaches come from?

5: If you've invented perpetual motion; why the hell use it in a train? Why not use it to power a generator in a camp, or heat a underground city? The train is death on tracks, with ice regularly blocking the path.

6: Why is everyone on this train ready to kill? Seriously, 90% of EVERYONE is ready to throw down here.

7: People take loosing their limbs SHOCKINGLY well in this movie. Like it's just a flesh wound, really.

8: What the hell happened with that one bad guy who got stabbed through his guts and choked? He just gets up? Why did the korean guy stop his girl from stabbing him? And the korean girl later misses him by 7-8 shots? Furthermore: Tilda Swinton gets a knife through the leg, but walks fine right afterwards.

9: Those weird antics of the characters. The woman in the yellow dress licking her blood off her fingers. Tilda Swinton with her strange comedic performance (although I did like the character, I found it a bit distracting), that incredibly weird Korean couple acting all over the place, things like the masked guy just smiling at Evans when they are sitting down. Sometimes I felt like I was watching Charlie and the chocolate factory.

10: The starved people of the tail takes out an army of axe wielding fighters with night vision? After apparently yelling for help through the entire train, and a kid lighting a torch, and running up to them in no time? Stretching it thin, movie!

11: The soldiers had bullets, but they weren't using them at the ONE PLACE they needed bullets? Are you serious??

12: The shootout between Chris Evans and what I can only assume was Terminator. On opposite sides of the train, probably 1000ft from each other. Sniping with a submachine gun. Through a blizzard. Nice aim there, fellas.

13: Mr. Terminator shooting his comrades all the time. Seriously. What was to be gained from that? He did it several times. Who is this guy??

14: The only way the train can function is to stuff small kids down small holes to keep the engine running? Really? Was the train designed to stuff small kids down there, or did it just appear to be the perfect solution? How convenient.

15: The wagon closest to the engine is the RAVE-CLUB where all the freaks go to party? Incidentally, the elementary school is next to the slaughterhouse.

16: There is no policy on drugs on this finely tuned train? Everyone just goes buck wild with this incredibly potent drug next to the engine room? And furthermore...

17: The drug of choice is basically C4? And it just lies around everywhere - again - next to the engine room?

18: Why not pay attention to what the korean guy is doing to open the doors and then open them themselves instead of having him slow them down?

19: The people with axes putting fish blood on their weapons before fighting? That was random.

20: The other wagons are TOTALLY unaffected by the explosion in the first wagons. Wow. They don't really notice until they derail. What a masterfully crafted train.

21: I know it fits with his story, but did Mr. Evans really need to sacrifice his arm to pull that kid out? He could probably stop the machine with something else than a limb and take better care of that child.

22: The people who jumped off the train still haven't been covered up by snow after 15 years in a never-ending blizzard?

Those were some of the things that stopped me from loving this movie. It just got too dumb. There was definitely something here, and I feel this could have become an excellent movie with more thought put into it. It came off extremely unrealistic. And in sci-fi, it's all about fooling the audience into thinking it could have happened. That's the "science" part.

All in all though - probably an entertaining movie if you'e not a nitpicker like me. Thankfully a lot of you aren't :)

EDIT: Someone corrected me in that the couple were korean, and that one of the bad guys never takes a bullet, like I thought he did. Sorry about that, but it still seems far fetched.

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321 out of 480 people found the following review useful:

There are to many; "What?!" moments

Author: ole-kris-lan from Levanger, Norway
28 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I actually like this genre of film, but this was a lousy attempt from this studio. In my opinion there simply are to many things we as viewers are expected to go along with. Without any explanation. Don't agree with me? I will give you some examples then (MAJOR SPOILERS);

1. Why did they need to eat each other at the start of their trip, and then suddenly this protein bar-machine appeared. It seems hard to accept that the magnificent Wilford would make this train with room for this low-class people, but with no way to feed them. And how did they make this bug-protein-bar machine while traveling at such speeds?

2. Having this class-system and using riots as a way to kill some of the population, seems a very cruel and inefficient way to keep the trains population regulated. And not to mention risky, after all this "grand plan" is what sets in motion the events that lead to the trains demise. There are tons of other option that history has shown is better ways to handle situations like this. And what about just plain simple birth regulations?

3. What does the engine run on? Hopes and dreams? explain please. Nuff said.

4. How those no part of the railway the train runs on gets destroyed or needs fixing during this 18 year long train ride? In an such extreme climate some part of the rails are bound to be somewhat damaged.

5. At the end of the movie they step outside and into the cold "harsh" weather. And let me just tell you. We call that summer in Norway, not an apocalyptic freezing weather. There truly need to be some better way to deal with the problem of this "extreme" weather. (and yes i know it was the middle of the day and the weather was nice, and maybe its worse at other times and blah blah, but still, doesn't seam to make sense.)'

6. The peoples behavior wasn't believable either. First of all, we need to remember that it was an closed environment, and people in the different classes all knew each other. And when after 18 years on this train some of the upper-class people see these dirty, bloody and new faces, they don't seem to give one single f**k. Not one single one of them. And why did Curtis choose to destroy the engine, the only thing that was keeping all the people on the train alive, to temporarily save one kid? He basically doomed the whole train, including the child he just saved. (And don't get me started on how he did it, jeezez.)

The list of these "What?!" moments just goes on and on and on. Some are short and brief, but others (like the examples i have given) are major movie-enjoyment-destroying. The sum of all these moments just leaves you with an bad feeling when you are finished watching the film.

BUT, the movie ain't all bad. This fictional setting of the film, makes for a type of film that is enjoyable. But often it boils down to; Are you able to believe the case that the film presents, or do you find it just to unrealistic to bear with. At the end of the movie, where all was revealed, the "mind blown"-moment. I just sat there with to many questions and a big "what?!"- expression. And not the "I-just-got-my- - head-exploded-"What?!", but the what just happened "what". And that the reasons why all this things had happened was the general premise of population control, wasn't mind blowing material, if you ask me.

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282 out of 419 people found the following review useful:

Lame, ridiculous and illogical

Author: Darren Petts from United Kingdom
31 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Very disappointed would be a good summation for this film especially considering it's early rating here. Once the review process has exhausted the fans and people who haven't seen or heard of the comic are reviewing it I expect it'll fall like a stone.

The major flaws as I see them (spoiler alert!). The whole concept of a train being the last salvation of mankind on a frozen planet is just beyond belief. Where does the train stop for servicing to it's undercarriage etc. without any stations? Who maintains the track? An engine that runs on magic as much as anything! Why not make it nuclear or at least something believable. If you were to set up a society in a closed environment why wouldn't everyone have a purpose with controlled breeding rather than be lugging around many people with no contribution to the whole. Why would you engineer a rebellion to control population? There are many better ways. Why would you expect some rebel to want your top job doing things your way? The very word rebel suggests that a change of system is wanted.

Major flaws aside there are other issues with the film. The characters are not believable. They belong in the comic it's based on. Nobody has made any effort to translate them to film or realised that some adjustments are even necessary. Film requires a different approach and nobody who made this film understands that. A great example of how to do it right is Dredd. This is a great example of how to do it wrong. The film tries to open up great philosophical issues but fails to do so due to the setting they are working in, ie a comic book. You continuously think that none of this is real and so pay no attention to the great moral dilemmas they are trying to foist on you. It's akin to being lectured by a 10 year old.

On top of the major flaws there are many minor ones. I'll just give the one example of the hero of the piece stuffing his arm in a moving machine to save one child (didn't bother to look for anything better suited to the task such as a steel bar) whilst then dooming that child to death with everyone-else.

The one redeeming quality of the film is it's well made. It's not remotely enough to save it from being a turkey though.

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221 out of 342 people found the following review useful:

Utter, utter crap what are people watching??!

Author: Mandango from East London
9 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers - but seriously that in itself is a joke, the plot, acting, and script is so insanely stupid it cannot be spoiled any further.

With so many good reviews I can only think that its the emperors new clothes effect, oh look its semi Korean sort of, and has oh such important things to say about humanity so it must be good! Get a goddamn grip people its just sh*t! I love post apocalyptic films, social satires and commentaries so this looked good on paper. Apart from the whole humanity on a train thing, I mean that just sounds stupid and pointless. But I was sure that would get explained in some clever way soon into the film. It wasn't. Nothing was. At all. There is no point to this film. The whole plot comes to zero.

Putting aside the stupidity of the premise that a train could run for 17 years in a frozen dead world where track maintenance guys are all dead, and of course the premise that living on a rapidly moving train would somehow be better than building a base, the plot holes in EVERY frikkin scene is staggering. Continuity is non existent. The heroes are fighting a horde of people on second, the next they have simply disappeared.

The rich have meat and wine from thin air, and party on drugs. No-one does any useful work apart from about 5 conductor types. The poor do absolutely nothing apart from whine about oppression. The speeches given by Tilda and Ed Harris are so monumentally derivative and dumbed down its insulting, apart from which they make no practical sense in reality. Ed Harris must be desperate. John Hurt even more so.

The hero ends up derailing and entire train, killing everyone except a teenage girl and a 5 year old. They have approximately 10 minutes to live as they've just seen a polar bear who is probably very hungry. Well done hero guy! I've just wasted 2 hours of my life. Don't waste yours.

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512 out of 937 people found the following review useful:

1984, Animal Farm, and now Snowpiercer.

Author: s-aitken88
17 August 2013

Absolutely amazing. A cinematic microcosm of society. For those of you uninterested in topics like '1984' and 'Animal Farm', watch this film for a hazard course in understanding the human condition. From start to end you see a small-scale depiction of society from it's most basic 'proletariat' level, right up to the elite, in perfect order. And we see the evolution of civilisation from simple beginnings to science, education, quality, luxury, then hedonism, wastefulness and eventual demise, in exactly that order.

All of that can be overlooked, however, if you're just the average movie-goer who simply wants a good story with a hero, an adventure and an end goal. In which case I say the film is a good one but nothing special in that respect. Certainly there were parts where I thought, "eh?", until it clicked later that it was all part of the Director's greater cinematic design.

But for the arty film student types, this film is sure to be the topic of many, many essays for years to come.

Clearly every part of the film was deliberate - every shot, every line of script, every item in the background. It was true art. None of that quick-buck profit-incentive Hollywood stuff.

In conclusion I recommend this film to everyone, particularly people who want to learn something or gain some insight from what they watch. For the everyday movie-lover, go into this with an open mind and have a really long think about how you can compare it to the world today.

Top stuff, 10/10

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206 out of 341 people found the following review useful:

One of the worst films of the last decade

Author: gabe-536-809533 from United States
5 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No pacing, no decent dialogue, no characterisation, no decent action. No surprises. It's completely pointless and non-sensical.

There are so many plot holes and impossibilities, even within the world of the initial premise, that right from the first line you understand that the only way you can get anything out of this stupidity is to follow along with the heavy-handed allegorical message.

Unfortunately the film never waivers from the allegory even when you get the message after ten minutes. Still waiting for plot surprises? Sorry there won't be any. The only point in waiting for the end is just to see what happens. Trust me, if you having washing to do, do that instead.

Spoiler Alert !

It's not worth finding out who lives, who dies and what happens to the kids.

If you like allegories may I suggest Animal Farm, the Bible, the Matrix or the Wizard of Oz. Avoid this, unless perhaps you're high on plastercine. It's dreadful, one-dimensional tosh.

Spoiler alert!

And where on earth were the chickens?

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183 out of 300 people found the following review useful:

Now that is how you make the transition from a Korean to an English language film without losing your personal stamp and style

Author: estebangonzalez10 from Ecuador
15 April 2014

¨Know your place. Accept your place. Be a shoe.¨

I was pleasantly surprised at how well Korean director, Joon-ho Bong, made the transition to this his first English language film because the style and tone of the film still felt entirely Korean despite starring some well known Hollywood actors. I enjoyed this film so much that I ended up watching it twice and that is something I rarely do. Based on the French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige written by Jean-Marc Rochette, Snowpiercer is an ambitious dystopian sci-fi film that despite having a very absurd premise works really well thanks to Bong's direction. It has some great performances with memorable characters, several exciting action scenes mixed with bizarre comedic moments, and a thought provoking metaphor on classicism. It is a bleak film but Bong handled the material so well that it kept me engaged and interested. Unfortunately the film does suffer from a rather unconvincing final act, but for most of its running time I was so entertained that I wasn't too disappointed.

Snowpiercer takes place in 2031 after a failed global-warming experiment has frozen all of Earth and wiped out all life. The only survivors are the passengers of a super train traveling across the globe with a perpetual-motion engine. Designed by Wilford, an engineer who knew the experiment would fail, the train has been running for 17 straight years and a social class system has developed as the passengers of the rear end live in extremely poor conditions. Here we are introduced to a young man named Curtis (Chris Evans) who is trying to come up with a plan to get past all the security guards in order to reach the front section where Wilford is presumed to be. He isn't alone on this quest as most of the passengers are upset for the abuse they've suffered and the extreme poor conditions in which they are forced to live in. A wise old man named Gilliam (John Hurt) who helped Wilford design the engine, has been helping Curtis rally the men together. Curtis's good friend, Edgar (Jamie Bell), is also awaiting the moment to begin their revolution as things begin to get worse once the guards take a few kids away from them. Tanya (Octavia Spencer) and Andrew (Ewen Bremner) are among the victims whose children have been taken away from them so they are also eager to attack. The first step of the plan involves freeing Namgoong (Song Kang-ho), a prisoner who has a special gift for unlocking the doors to each section, but the task won't be easy as the guards will do what it takes to make sure they stay at the rear section of the train.

Bong has directed several successful Korean films like The Host and Memories of a Murder, and in his first English language film his style remains untouched. Despite having some scenes that borderline in the ridiculous he somehow manages to balance those moments really well. For example there is this huge action scene that he has set up between the rebels and the guards who are awaiting them with axes. The bloody and violent confrontation begins, only to be interrupted as the train is approaching a bridge which serves as a landmark for the New Year. The fighting stops for a few seconds as everyone begins the countdown and admires the view of the outside world from inside the train, then the violence and mayhem continue. There are several moments like this where Bong perfectly balances these gorgeously crafted choreographed scenes with moments of quirky comedy and twisted sense of humor. The best example of this type of humor comes from the two characters played by Tilda Swinton (who is unrecognizable in this film) and Alison Pill who are terrific and steal the few scenes they are in. I really loved that classroom scene that felt completely out of place with the dark tail section of the train. I think it was those goofy moments that I enjoyed the most in this film. It was a great sensory experience to get to follow these characters through each section of the train and I have to give Bong credit for his visionary style because as our heroes progress to the front of the train things begin to get more and more bizarre and you never know what to expect. The film is short of being a masterpiece because the final 30 minutes are disappointing, but as a social satire Snowpiercer worked better than other recent sci-fi films like Elysium. It is a very weird and strange film, but it is really good and I enjoyed it even more on my second viewing.

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141 out of 226 people found the following review useful:

The train ride from hell: no stops, no upgrades

Author: shea765 from United States
1 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Third class on a train never felt so bad. No private rooms or showers, and just one item on the menu. Don't even think about filing a complaint with the conductor's black-clad goon squad; they don't take kindly to dissent. But that's not the worst of it: you'll never get off this train, since it comprises the only habitable environment left on earth after global warming countermeasures triggered a new ice age.

While the setting of Bong Joon-ho's film incorporates a few original ideas, much will seem familiar to the post-apocalyptic film audience. Society is divided between the first class minority, with their fine tailors and cocktail parties, and the downtrodden masses, with little more than the rags on their backs they can call their own. Of course, revolution is in order, but the plan for regicide will require a trip down the length of the train, with a few bloody battles and the discovery of what life is really like "on the other side" filling in the remainder of the story.

Class struggle is naturally the topic of so many sci-fi films, from classics like "Fahrenheit 451" and "1984" to contemporary derivatives such as "District 9" and "Elysium." So taking up such a topic is a little like opening a hamburger joint -- you really have to do it well, and ideally provide your own twist, to have any hope of impressing your clients.

Unfortunately "Snowpiercer" follows the tried-and-true formulas a little too closely to inspire, and it's hard not to feel like we've been served a Big Mac of a film. There are caricatures, not characters: the hero who doubts himself, the naive sidekick who worships his idol, the wise octogenarian guiding the flock. There are even a couple of video-game references thrown in for the kids in the forms of a martial arts expert and the "boss" who comes back from the dead. We share in the characters' wonder about the extravagant lives of passengers in the front cars, but little else drives the plot. The script reads like something written by a non-native speaker, quite honestly, and, as with other films that aspire to the demands of an international box office, the writers settle for brevity, simplicity, and imitation where tactfulness and originality were called for.

I didn't see Chris Evans in "Captain America," but I imagine that your appraisal of his acting in that movie might go a long way in determining whether you like his role in this one. In my mind, Evans does little more in "Snowpiercer" than dutifully recite his lines and chop down some bad guys, but judging from box office returns these days, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

For those who want to step outside the boundaries of Hollywood, I heartily recommend you skip this film in favor of Bong's earlier Korean works, especially "Barking Dogs Never Bite," "Memories of Murder," and "Mother." Those films are wonderfully crafted windows onto Korean society that touch upon real divides between class and generation instead of the roughly hewn metaphors we endure in "Snowpiercer."

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293 out of 536 people found the following review useful:

A Crazy Parable

Author: chestburster from phiadelphia
24 March 2014

First I want to say that this is one of the best (and entertaining as hell!) social commentary films I've seen since Terry Gilliam's Brazil and Paul Verhoeven's Robocop.

Yes there are a lot of plot points that don't make much sense if looked at from the perspective of our "reality."

But this film does NOT aim to be "realistic." In fact, I'd say the goal of the director is to make it as "surrealistic" as possible.

And I applaud him to be so successful in that: in many moments during the film, I felt I was experiencing a fevered dream of a fried fish. -- That's how insane this film is.

It takes great genius to present something as insane as the plot of Snowpiercer.

This film will be remembered, analyzed and revered for a long, long time.

The icing on the cake is that the social commentary content is actually intriguing. The film is decent enough to leave enough ambiguity so that the audiences can make their own conclusions.

9 out of 10.

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71 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

Pothole plot!

Author: Loz Mayer from Manchester, England
2 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was really looking forward to this film. I love post apocalyptic stories, I didn't think it would be amazing, but I certainly thought it would be better than this. I have never made a review on here before, I have only rated films/TV shows. But I felt compelled to after watching this and noting the major, numerous gaping holes in this film.


1) If this Wilford guy knew this C4 gas or whatever was going to turn the world into an ice- age why didn't he do more than just build this train? He talks about this engine being eternal - so why didn't he use it to power an underground city, with actual space to move?

2) Who maintains the train and the tracks? In 18 years no repairs have needed to be made? None whatsoever? In this post apocalyptic ice age there is no damage? I don't think so!

3) Why was there no explanation as to how this engine actually works? Literally, no explanation whatsoever.

4) The poor need to be routinely killed by allowing them to uprise so they can be slaughtered? What kind of idea is that. Why not suggest a child policy?

5) Why was a class system needed at all on this train. No explanation as to why they couldn't be put to work to be productive members of this ridiculous train society!

6) Who were the bad guys who dressed up with night vision goggles? Why were they so ready to kill? Which class were they a part of? Do they have a back story?

7) How did the fire reach from the back of the train to the carriage where they were fighting so quickly?

8) Why was Tilda swinton who played mason stabbed with a knife in the leg but could walk fine in the next scenes? And why did she randomly take her teeth out? And what were he weird little speeches about?

9) There are apparently first class, economy and the freeloader sections if the train? But where were the economy passengers?

10) Where were the animals that produced the meat for the refrigerated meat section and why couldn't you see their breath on there - surely it was cold.

11) Where were the chickens that produced the eggs? Where were the cockroaches coming from that made the protein bars? Oh and where did the rice come from that went with the sushi?

12) They have a dentist, a tailor, a hairdressers, jacuzzi, sauna, bar, a nightclub and a crack den but no nice bedrooms for first class? Where do they sleep? Note there are the bedrooms next to where the protein bars are made but there is no explanation as to who stays there and they were a bit grey and small to be first class accommodation.

13) Where did the kids go that were being taught in the school. Curtis didn't pass any of them again while going through the train.

14) Why did he waste all his bullets trying to shoot the bad guy through windows of the train? How dumb was that?!

15) Why did that bad guy live through so much? We literally saw him die. We saw it happen. He was stabbed in the side and died. But all of a sudden he stands up and walks and pulls out the knife no problem and has enough energy to have a full on fight for no apparent reason.

16) Who was the woman in the yellow coat? What was the point of her?

17) Why were all the people from the nightclub suddenly wielding axes and chains? Because the two Koreans stole their drugs? Really? Why is everyone so excited to kill on this train that is the last hope for humankind? Why couldn't the girl kill anyone whilst shooting about 8 times into that crowd?

18) Why did Wilford want to give up his job as engine commander. He says it's was because he was old but he only looked 50/60. What was so demanding about sitting there that meant he couldn't do it anymore?

19) Why did that kid ignore Curtis like he was brainwashed and walk into that weird engine thing that popped out? And what was he doing in the engine thing? And why was he in a cupboard? And why did he come out at that moment?

20) Why did Curtis chop off his arm to save a kid when they were about to blow up the train anyway? Why not use one of the weapons that were around a lot of the film to put in between the gears to take him out? Or not bother at all.

21) Why would they blow up the train? For what reason? What possible good could come from that? Curtis had the power in his hands and he could have made this little bizarre train world a better place, but nope - let's derail the train and kill everyone with an explosion!

22) What the hell are that teenage girl and little boy supposed to do now? She just killed everyone on the train and if the cold doesn't kill her and that boy then the polar bear will probably kill them! And again no breath! It's meant to be freezing cold and they couldn't stretch themselves to make the actors' breath visible! Poor!

On the plus side the garden and aquarium sections looked nice...


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